How to Turn Off S Mode in Windows 11: 2 Easy Methods (2024)

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  • Windows

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Switch out of S mode to install software from anywhere

Written byNicole Levine, MFA

Last Updated: November 3, 2023Fact Checked

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  • Using Your Microsoft Account
  • |
  • Without a Microsoft Account
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  • Warnings

Windows 11's S Mode is a safety feature that only allows app installations from the Microsoft Store. While S Mode does a great job at preventing malware from infecting your computer, it can be pretty restrictive. If you want to download apps that aren't available from the Microsoft Store, you'll need to exit S Mode permanently. You can easily turn off S Mode in your Windows Settings if you have a Microsoft account, or by disabling Secure Boot in the UEFI if you don't have (and don't want) a Microsoft account. This wikiHow article will teach you 2 easy ways to take your Windows 11 PC out of S Mode.

Things You Should Know

  • Turning off S Mode is permanent. Once you turn it off, you can't turn it back on.
  • To turn off S Mode, go to Settings > System > Activation. Under "Switch to Windows 11 Pro," click Go to the Store, then click "Get."
  • If you don't have a Microsoft Account, the only way to get rid of S mode is to disable Secure Boot in the UEFI (BIOS).

Method 1

Method 1 of 2:

Using Your Microsoft Account

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  1. 1

    Open your computer's Settings. Click the Windows menu and select the Settings icon, which looks like a gear. You can also press Windows key + i to quickly launch the Settings panel.[1]

    • This method assumes you have a Microsoft Account, as you'll need it to access the Microsoft Store. If you don't want to use a Microsoft account with Windows, you can turn off S Mode by making a registry change.
    • You will need to be connected to the internet to switch out of S Mode.
  2. 2

    Select Activation option. When you open Settings, it defaults to the System panel. You'll find the Activation option toward the bottom of the right panel.[2]

    • If you don't see Activation, click System at the top-left corner of the menu first.
    • There should be a large image of the Windows logo followed by the version of your OS. The text should read something like Windows 11 Home in S Mode. If there's no "S Mode," your computer isn't in S Mode and you're good to go!

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  3. 3

    Click Go to the Store under "Switch to Windows 11 Pro." Make sure you're clicking the Go to the Store option below "Switch to Windows 11 Pro." There's another "Go to the Store" option under "Upgrade your edition of Windows," and you do not want to click that option.[3]

  4. 4

    Click Get on the "Switch out of S Mode" banner. You'll see this banner at the top of the page. After you click the button, you'll get a pop-up in anywhere between a few seconds to a couple minutes letting you know your computer is no longer in S Mode.[4]

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Method 2

Method 2 of 2:

Without a Microsoft Account

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  1. 1

    Boot your PC into Advanced Startup Mode. If you purchased a Windows 11 PC with S Mode enabled and don't have or want a Microsoft account, the only way to disable S mode is to turn off Secure Boot in the UEFI (BIOS). Disabling Secure Boot also disables features like Windows Hello and Bitlocker, although you should be able to reenable Secure Boot without reenabling S Mode after booting into the normal version of Windows 11 at least once. Start by booting into Advanced Startup:

    • Click the Start menu and select Settings.
    • Click System.
    • Click Recovery.
    • Click Restart Now next to "Advanced startup."
    • Click Restart Now to confirm. Your PC will now reboot to a blue screen with several options.
  2. 2

    Click Troubleshoot. Once Windows boots to the "Choose an option" screen, you'll see this option on the left side.[5]

  3. 3

    Click Advanced Options. It's the second option.

  4. 4

    Click UEFI Firmware Settings. This reboots your PC into the UEFI.

  5. 5

    Find the Secure Boot area of the UEFI. The location varies by model. Some manufacturers, including Dell, have a Secure Boot method. For other manufacturers, you'll usually find Secure Boot in the Boot or Boot Options menu.

    • You may have to do some menu digging to find Secure Boot. Look in the Advanced menu, Options, and other obscured places if you don't see the option.
    • Depending on the software you want to install, you may not be able to reenable Secure Boot later without restoring your PC to its factory state.[6]
  6. 6

    Select the option to disable Secure Boot. Use the arrow keys (unless your mouse is available in the UEFI) to select Secure Boot, then choose the Disable or Disabled option.

    • Depending on the UEFI, you'll usually select the option by pressing Enter.
    • If you see the option to do so, click Apply to make the change.
    • If the option is grayed out or not selectable, try disabling Fast Boot first.
    • If you still can't turn off Secure Boot, find the part of the UEFI that allows you to set an Administrator password for the UEFI. Set a password temporarily, then boot back into the UEFI to turn off Secure Boot. You can remove the password after turning off S Mode.
    • If you still can't turn off Secure Boot, try resetting the BIOS to its defaults.
  7. 7

    Save and exit the UEFI. In some UEFI versions, you'll press F10 to save your changes. In others, you'll select Exit and choose Save changes.[7]

    • Once you exit the UEFI, your PC will reboot. When it comes back up, S Mode will be disabled.
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Community Q&A

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  • Question

    I don't have the store downloaded, what can I do?

    How to Turn Off S Mode in Windows 11: 2 Easy Methods (16)

    Rupert

    Top Answerer

    All Windows 11 installations ship with the Microsoft Store included. If it isn't present on your system, it may have been removed by someone else, or you may have a corrupted installation. Try searching using the start menu for the store, otherwise it's probably easiest to reset Windows for a completely new installation, complete with the Microsoft Store.

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  • Question

    Why does it ask me for an administrator PIN?

    How to Turn Off S Mode in Windows 11: 2 Easy Methods (17)

    Rupert

    Top Answerer

    If you're using a computer that is run by an organisation, you may not have the required privileges to leave S Mode. Contact your system administrator for help.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 1Helpful 2

  • Question

    Can I go back into S Mode after switching out?

    Unfortunately, the switch out of S Mode is a one-way street, meaning there's no way to undo your change.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

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      Video

      Tips

      • If you're still running Windows 10, read How to Turn Off S Mode in Windows 10 for help, or How to Download Windows 11 to upgrade.

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      • S Mode is only available on Windows 11 Home Edition, not on Pro, Enterprise, or any other version.

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      • Only turn off S Mode if you really need to install programs from other sources. Otherwise, using S Mode is a great way to protect your PC from malware infections.

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      Warnings

      • Once you leave S Mode, you can never go back. Make sure you're sure before switching over.[8]

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      References

      1. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-and-windows-11-in-s-mode-faq-851057d6-1ee9-b9e5-c30b-93baebeebc85
      2. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-and-windows-11-in-s-mode-faq-851057d6-1ee9-b9e5-c30b-93baebeebc85
      3. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/switching-out-of-s-mode-in-windows-4f56d9be-99ec-6983-119f-031bfb28a307
      4. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/switching-out-of-s-mode-in-windows-4f56d9be-99ec-6983-119f-031bfb28a307
      5. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/disabling-secure-boot?view=windows-11
      6. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/disabling-secure-boot?view=windows-11
      7. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/disabling-secure-boot?view=windows-11
      8. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-and-windows-11-in-s-mode-faq-851057d6-1ee9-b9e5-c30b-93baebeebc85#WindowsVersion=Windows_11

      About This Article

      How to Turn Off S Mode in Windows 11: 2 Easy Methods (34)

      Written by:

      Nicole Levine, MFA

      wikiHow Technology Writer

      This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Nicole Levine, MFA. Nicole Levine is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. She has more than 20 years of experience creating technical documentation and leading support teams at major web hosting and software companies. Nicole also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and teaches composition, fiction-writing, and zine-making at various institutions. This article has been viewed 330,256 times.

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      Co-authors: 5

      Updated: November 3, 2023

      Views:330,256

      Categories: Windows

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